A self-described “miserable northerner”, Alfie Boe groans as he describes Michael Ball’s pre-performance routine.
“Oh my goodness. It’s like some sort of cult ceremony when you go on before a show with him,” the tenor says, in his slow Lancashire drawl.
“He does these hand clap things he’s roped me into doing, and if we slip up a little bit, like if we don’t make full contact with our hands, we’ll have to do it again.”
The pair are sharing the bill on a nationwide tour (and have a new album, Together, out too), and while there’s no doubt they gel on stage, they are very different people away from it.
“I always try and put a positive spin on stuff and keep people’s spirits high, and Alfie is a Dementor,” says the irrepressibly cheerful Ball, before they both crack up laughing.
The pair are about to appear in a one-0ff TV special on ITV, featuring songs from the album, a medley from Les Miserables, and some very special guests.
“It’s funny, it’s got the music, and some fab live guests who are hilarious,” says Ball.
Can we ask what stars will appear?
“No, you can’t. It’s a surprise.”
Ball And Boe: One Night Only, ITV, Friday, December 9, 9pm